Filed:July 24th, 2009
Brian Myrow celebrates his game-winning hit with teammates Lastings Milledge and Ian Snell (Cubbie Nation)
No, I've not met my untimely demise, so sorry to those e-mailers who seem to keep wishing it. You know who you are. No, I'm sitting in a hotel room in Toronto, a few days into my summer tour around baseball.
I'm actually in the middle of a week-long road trip, checking out how the other half lives around the game. It's a week of pretty much non-stop baseball, between catching live games, and tracking the Cubs on MLB.tv.
Yes, I caught the Phillies series, and to be honest, I saw enough to still feel as encouraged about the Cubs second-half prospects today as when they left Washington. I keep hearing noise about the Dodgers being the NL cream of the crop this season. I've seen them six, maybe seven times, and they're good. I mean, they need some more power, and another middle-of-the-rotation guy, but they're good.
The real talent though is with the champs, even minus the pitching upgrade they desperately need. So, taking the series would be nice, but coming into Philly, I think you're just happy to not get swept. The Cubs finished with a nice 5-2 road trip, the pitching looked good overall, and evidently, the Cubs are at least talking about a needing a left-handed bat. I'll be following the Reds series, and should be back at Wrigley for the Astros next week.
Oh, and the road trip? My first stop was Indianapolis, where after a 17-strikeout performance, I had to see what the hell had gotten into Ian Snell. The short answer was not much. I caught the back end of the Indianapolis Indians-Durham Bull series, including his start on Tuesday. The Indians would win 2-1 when lifer Brian Myrow hit a game-winning single in the ninth.
Snell is just feasting on AAA kids, who can't get around on his fastball yet. Lots of fly balls, plenty of fastball fouls. You know, the stuff major leaguers would be driving for hard hits. I wasn't impressed with the outing, regardless of his stat line that night.
Tom Gorzelanny either, who pitched the rubber match Wednesday. I can't believe these guys were the core of the Pirates staff just two years ago. For what it's worth though, I did get a chance to see a real stud. The Rays farmhand Wade Davis is a beast. I heard from a couple of folks at the park that he's being showcased, and Ken Rosenthal is reporting he's being featured in Cliff Lee discussions. Cleveland fans, I don't think you'll be disappointed with this kid at all. He really needs another half season, but he looks really, really good.
I'm off. Next stop is the Rogers Centre tonight to catch what may be the Roy Halladay's last start as a Blue Jay. So sad. And if you're interested, check out the Around Baseball gallery for photos of my road trip.